My Blizzcon 2016 Predictions

For the past month, I’ve invited listeners of the show to participate in a little contest to see who can best predict a number of topics in regards to Blizzcon 2016.

I gave some predictions on Episode 214 this week, but I figured I’d take a few minutes to call my own shots here and answer all those same questions, with maybe a few extras.

Will Chris Metzen appear in person on stage during the Opening Ceremony?

No. While this is a celebration of 25 years of Blizzard and 10 Blizzcons, I feel like a statement is made here that Blizzard goes on. Would I love to see it happen? Hell yes. I just feel it’s not likely.

During the Opening Ceremony, which franchise will be featured immediately following Mike Morhaime’s opening remarks?

Hearthstone. It’s quite possibly the only franchise that’s announcing substantial new content, and the game is relevant to a huge playerbase. This Opening Ceremony will start strong and end strong. Hearthstone is where it starts strong.

Will a new IP be introduced at Blizzcon? (Note: this means a new franchise entirely, not a new game from an established IP)

No. While I strongly believe there are great things in the works, those projects aren’t even baking in the oven yet. We also have to consider that Overwatch is still in its infancy as Blizzard’s newest IP, and resources are undoubtedly being used to grow it.

How many new Heroes will be introduced for Heroes of the Storm during the Opening Ceremony?

Two. It -might- be three, but I’m leaning more toward two heroes. One of the heroes will have a fairly standard kit, while the other will make us think differently about how Heroes can be made (in the same vein that Lost Vikings and Cho’Gal surprised us).

Will a new hero class (Death Knight, Monk, etc.) be announced for Hearthstone?

Absolutely not. If we had teasers from Pandaria or Northrend instead of Gadgetzan, I might reconsider. That said, it would be pretty crazy if we got say… an Engineer hero class. Odds of that happening? <1%

Will Patch 7.2 content for World of Warcraft be revealed at Blizzcon? and…

If 7.2 content is revealed for WoW, what do you think it will include?

Yes, we’ll learn much more about patch 7.2. 7.2 will mark the opening of the Nighthold raid. That’s almost a no-brainer. I also feel that 7.2 (or 7.3) will introduce us to a new max level questing zone, part of which will be playable at Blizzcon. Where is this quest zone? Nowhere on Azeroth. I’m thinking more along the lines of a Legion controlled world, with a look similar to what we’ve seen in the Warlock order hall and Demon Hunter starting experience. This might also be the location for new 5-man content. While I’m on the topic of 7.2… I believe it will be announced that Mythic (but not Mythic+) will be added to Dungeon Finder. In order to use keystones you’ll still have to enter a Mythic the usual way. We’ll also see a number of new legendary items added to the pool, and artifacts will gain a new method of empowering/progression for those who max them out.

Will Sombra be playable for Overwatch at Blizzcon?

Yes. Let’s move on…

Excluding Sombra, how many new characters will be revealed for Overwatch at Blizzcon 2016?

One, and it’s the third incarnation of Doomfist.

Name up to three characters that you predict will be revealed for Heroes of the Storm at Blizzcon!

Now I said there would be two, but -if- there are three my money is on Varian Wrynn, Deckard Cain, and Lucio. Mind you on this episode of Azeroth Roundtable I made different predictions, but that was mainly because Jon picked Varian and Deckard before me and I wanted to make things interesting. I actually agree quite a bit on Varian and Deckard.

What will be announced for the Diablo franchise?

To celebrate 20 years of Diablo, Patch 2.5 will be a major content patch that gives players access to special rifts that allow you to re-enact events from past Diablo games. Think Diablo 3 meets Caverns of Time. The other day new art of a class previously seen in Diablo 2 made an appearance. I won’t say what it is here, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if that class is introduced to Diablo 3.

I do not think Diablo 4 or a new expansion for Diablo 3 will be announced. I would love to be proven wrong, believe me.

Will a new mobile app be revealed at Blizzcon 2016?

Yes…. and no. By that, I mean the Legion Companion app will get a major content upgrade that has nothing to do with Order Halls. Pet battlers, your time is now. Embrace it.

Which universe will the winning Costume Contest creation represent?

Overwatch. It will be cosplay of a Legendary skin for one of the female characters, or it will be an amazing Reinhardt. That said, Genn Greymane will be a finalist, and I would love Greymane to prove me wrong and win it all. Good luck Frostee and Kaz.

Which two classes will face off in the very last game of the Hearthstone World Championship?

Shaman – Mage

Which region will the Heroes of the Storm Fall Champions come from?

Taiwan. Please Buff Arthas. No, seriously, please buff him.

Will Tournament Mode be announced for Hearthstone?

No. I make that prediction based on the simple fact that Heroic Brawl is a thing. That said, I think we’re going to learn about significant changes coming to Ranked and Arena play.

How many -combined- new maps will be revealed between Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch? (Heroes Brawl maps do not count)

Two, both of them from Overwatch. I don’t think we’ll see a new Battleground revealed for Heroes so soon after the release of the Machines of War additions. I do think we’ll find out about some new Brawl maps, but they don’t count.

Will Deckard Cain be mentioned in any way during any Diablo panel or the Opening Ceremony?

Absolutely, because he’ll at the very least be a new Hero of the Storm. Otherwise, he’ll be brought up on Friday’s Diablo panel.

Bonus Predictions:

  1. Overwatch is getting an animated series on Netflix. Tentative release date: late 2017
  2. Starcraft will get a new series of mission packs with a Zerg focus.
  3. Anduin plays a major part in 7.3. So does Wrathion.
  4. The next Hearthstone content will be released November 29th. Heroic Brawl will take place a week before that launch.
  5. Announcer packs are coming to Heroes of the Storm.
  6. World of Podcasts is going to be awesome! Listen to it live or download the panels after the fact. (Okay, I’m biased.)
  7. Murlocs. You’ll know it when you see it.

And finally…

Exactly how long will Mike Morhaime’s opening remarks be?

11 minutes, 11 seconds.

 

 

 

 

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